Associated Press

General Assembly Coming Back to Town for Appointments, GenX

The North Carolina legislature is meeting for the first time in nearly three months, with lawmakers aiming to pass laws addressing water quality and approving appointments to state boards and commissions. The General Assembly reconvenes its session at midday Wednesday, with work initially expected to last only one day. But there’s talk that they will leave the session officially open for the next week or two in case they must redraw legislative districts or if the House and Senate reach a deal on judicial reforms. The drinking water legislation expected before a House committee Wednesday is in response to...

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Judges: North Carolina Must Redraw GOP’s Gerrymandered Map

Federal judges now agree that North Carolina’s congressional district map drawn by Republicans is illegally gerrymandered, excessively partisan, and must quickly be redone. The three judges ruled late Tuesday that the boundaries violate the U.S. Constitution because they were designed to benefit Republican candidates at the expense of non-Republican voters. Republican mapmakers made clear in 2016 that they wanted to retain the GOP’s 10-3 seat advantage in the congressional delegation. The judges gave the legislature about two weeks to come up with a replacement. Candidate filing is supposed to begin Feb. 12. There’s a good chance Republicans will try...

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Bipartisan Bill Would Expand North Carolina ID Theft Laws

Democratic Attorney General Josh Stein and a key Republican legislator say expanded identity theft laws are needed in North Carolina to alert the public about increasing security breaches and to make it easier for them to protect themselves. Stein and Rep. Jason Saine of Lincolnton announced Monday a bill would be filed during the General Assembly’s work session in May that requires businesses to let Stein’s office and affected consumers know of a breach within 15 days. Current law isn’t specific on a time. The public also would get more free credit reports, as well as credit monitoring if...

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Man Charged in Shooting Originally Thought to be Accident

Authorities say a North Carolina man has been charged in a fatal target shooting that was originally reported as an accident. The News & Record of Greensboro reports that an Alamance County Sheriff’s Office news release says 41-year-old Stephen Adrian Ferriell was arrested Friday and charged with obstruction of justice and voluntary manslaughter. Authorities say the charges stem from the 2016 shooting death of Robert Nelson Gilley II, who suffered a gunshot wound to the chest while the two men were target shooting. The newspaper did not report on if Ferriell has a...

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North Carolina’s Altered Legislative Districts Back in Court

North Carolina legislative districts drawn up by Republicans are back in court as federal judges decide whether to accept proposed boundary changes from the third-party expert they appointed. The three-judge panel scheduled a hearing Friday in Greensboro to listen to why a Stanford University law professor they hired as a special master redrew boundaries the way he did. The judges appointed Nathaniel Persily because they were concerned new state House and Senate maps approved by the GOP-controlled legislature last summer failed to remove unlawful racial bias from four districts. House and Senate districts drawn by Republican legislators have been...

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NC Officials: Flu Kills 7 More People, Including Child

State health officials say another seven people have died from influenza, including a child. The report issued for the week ending Dec. 30 lists seven deaths, bringing the total to 20 for this flu season. The child is the second child to die in the 2017-2018 flu season. The state Department of Health and Human Services says the child was between the ages of 5 and 17. DHHS doesn’t provide other identifying details about flu victims. In addition to the two child deaths, 10 elderly people have died along with six ranging in age from 50 to 64 and...

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North Carolina Reports Third Snowstorm Death

North Carolina authorities say a driver slid off a road in snowy conditions and overturned his vehicle, marking the state’s third fatality attributed to a snowstorm sweeping the region. State Emergency Management spokesman Keith Acree says the man died in Beaufort County around 2 a.m. Thursday. The man’s vehicle slid off the road into a ditch and overturned. Acree says the area had a lot of snow, and authorities determined it was a weather-related death. Acree identified the man as 29-year-old Joshua Wayne Biddle of Washington, North Carolina. The Highway Patrol had earlier reported that two men died in...

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As GOP Debates Judicial Changes, Democrats Unlikely to Budge

North Carolina Republicans are trying to agree on new judicial district lines and whether to propose replacing head-to-head elections for judgeships. But it appears unlikely that Gov. Roy Cooper and most fellow Democrats will embrace anything that emerges from the Legislative Building on those topics in 2018. The Senate committee considering broad judicial changes was meeting again Wednesday, a week before options could be officially considered during a special session of the General Assembly. House and Senate GOP leaders have warned that judicial proposals may not be ready for the Jan. 10 session. The next regular work session is...

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Black Student Who Helped Desegregate UNC Dies at 80

One of the first three African-American undergraduate students to successfully challenge racial segregation at North Carolina’s flagship public university has died at the age of 80. Family members said Tuesday that LeRoy Frasier suffered heart failure and died Dec. 29 at a hospital in New York City. He had taught English in New York for many years. Frasier; his brother, Ralph; and John Lewis Brandon were students at Hillside High School in Durham when they applied to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1955. They were rejected until a federal court judge ordered UNC-Chapel Hill to...

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Lawsuit: Duke, UNC Agreed to Not Hire Each Other’s Doctors

The basketball rivalry between Duke University and the University of North Carolina battle is legendary, but a federal lawsuit says the two elite institutions have agreed not to compete in another prestigious area: the market for highly skilled medical workers. The anti-trust complaint by a former Duke radiologist accuses the schools just 10 miles (16 kilometers) apart of secretly conspiring to avoid poaching each other’s professors. If her lawyers succeed in persuading a judge to make it a class action, thousands of faculty, physicians, nurses and other professionals could be affected. “The intended and actual effect of this agreement...

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